by Babs ‘O’ Reilly
(Miami Beach, Florida, USA)
You may already be wondering what Zumba is truly all about by now. It is a fusion of both dance and an exercise workout, featuring a variety of dance styles.
Although the main rhythm is Latin, other international influences are also present in the mix. Knowing the basic principles will help you become better at it and burn the extra calories and fat.
Starting the Zumba
Zumba lasts for about an hour and presents different dance moves coming from regions in Latin America. Some of the included moves are influenced by the meringue, salsa, reggaeton and even belly dance and hip hop.
It provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, where you can burn as much as 450 calories an hour. Choreographing the program can be quite challenging, so it is important that you begin each session by doing a few stretches and toning exercises.
These should last for 15 minutes, aim to warm up all the major muscle groups during the pre-exercise.
Start choreographing the Zumba workout by doing samba moves for about 5 minutes. You can use the basic forward and back movements, keeping your heart rate up.
After that, switch to merengue dance movements for another 5 minutes. The merengue is composed of 3 basic motions, namely the forward basic motions, the side basic motions and the back basic motions.
These can be mixed in any way using variations in the posture as you dance.
After 5 minutes, move on to dancing the salsa for 5 minutes. Begin by tapping on the first beat, then step forward using the same foot.
Back on the same foot then dance to variations of the motion. You may include reggae, hiphop, reggaeton and a number of belly dance movements during the workout.
Mix the movements using the Latin dance moves. You will realize that the fusion of different dances and rhythms make Zumba truly unique.
Using Interval Training
One of the principles behind the Zumba workout is that you incorporate interval training. This means that you move from one dance to the next in increments, such as dancing the salsa for 5 minutes, hiphop for 5 minutes, merengue for 5 minutes, and so on.
Your heart rate and breathing differs, depending on the movements and demands of the dances. This allows your metabolism to enhance, thereby burning calories while doing the exercise and continuously while at rest.
Although the pace may be too challenging for first time exercisers and older adults, the Zumba Gold is also available, which reduces the beat and pace.
Seniors and true beginners get to experience a comfortable and entertaining start. They will be introduced to the steps until they are ready to go with Zumba Basic and Level 2.
If you want to learn the Zumba well, you should join a number of workshops and activities together with certified Zumba instructors. There are now more than 2,000 instructors all around the world, complete with the right skills, knowledge and materials to let you enjoy the activity fully.
You can get more tips in forums and the web site. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and eat the right type of diet to experience the different fitness benefits of the program.
Mastering the Zumba takes time. Try to squeeze in 2 to 3 sessions per week to get better over time.